With a huge generational shift occurring in the workforce, research from the Society of Human Research Management found that collaborative discussion, decision-making, and problem solving are successful ways to deal with the generational differences. Managers and teams can navigate effectively through these changes through teambuilding activities.
More importantly, effective teams today can capitalize on the multiple levels of experience, skill, and expertise in today’s workforce.
While every team needs a purpose–mission, vision, and goals (the "what") –this article is really focused on how to go about building the foundation for team success.
The "How"–Building the Structure
Team ground rules are explicit expectations for team member behavior and interaction. The structure of ground rules provides a foundation for clear, honest communication on the team. These guidelines also speak to the climate and support necessary for team success.
Building on a Solid Foundation Takes Time
Team building takes deliberate actions over time. Developing relationships, building trust and respect, and learning about team member strengths, styles, and preferences are all ways to build a sense of cohesiveness on the team. For these actions to successfully build the team, ground rules help to lay a foundation to support the team’s success.
Consider these guidelines to help develop collaborative, supportive, and high performance teams:
- Help each other be successful by exploring options and ideas and finding ways to make them work. See the possibilities and look for the win/win.
- Eliminate the word "no" from your vocabulary.
- If in doubt, check it out! Don’t make negative assumptions about each other. There are two sides to every story. Put yourself in their shoes.
- Help each other win, recognize, and celebrate each other’s efforts and victories.
- Speak positively about each other and about your company at every opportunity, especially when something goes wrong. Avoid finger-pointing and throwing teammates "under the bus."
- Trust that your teammates are doing their best. Most people care and try to do the right thing.
- Maintain a positive attitude, and do everything with enthusiasm and a smile; it’s contagious.
- Build relationships by getting to know each other personally, and find ways to nurture those relationships and find common ground.
- Do what you say you’re going to do.
- Use humor to get through the tough situations. Laughter is the best medicine.
Team Activity Idea
Develop a similar list and make it a teambuilding activity, having your team brainstorm guidelines for behavior, support, and team culture. To serve as reinforcement, publish your team’s guidelines, frame them, and give everyone a copy to put up in their workspace.
Source: Shari Saeger, Learning and Development Manager, MRA - The Management Association